31st January, 2024

Dear friends,

The work of Homes of Promise continued to grow and develop during 2023.  We started with a new management committee in January and welcomed The Hon. Juma Abdallah (Speaker of Katabi Town Council) on to the board.  He is interested in our work and was instrumental in having a street sign put in place to direct visitors to George’s Place.  Unfortunately, the Probation Officer for Wakiso District has been unwell throughout the year and was unable to attend our meetings, but representatives from Katabi joined us.

The older boys in vocational training are doing very well. Five finished their courses at the end of the year. One of them, who is an orphan, is already working in a garage in Nebbi and living with his grandmother.  Another has been resettled with his grandmother near Sironko and is starting up a small tailoring business. We provided a sewing machine and materials to help him get established.  The third boy, who is on the hairdressing course, is working in a salon in Entebbe and training as a manicurist.  We are aiming to resettle the other two lads shortly, one of whom is already back with his father. Two of our boys who finished their first year in vocational training have been working during the Christmas holidays, one of them for National Water and the other in a restaurant near his home town.  It is so encouraging to see these boys’ lives being changed in amazing ways, whilst becoming reconciled with their family members.

We had 10 boys in primary school throughout the year and we are awaiting the results of the lad who took his P7 examinations, as he would like to join Senior 1 when the term begins.  The four boys already in Senior School are all doing well.  The two who were in S1 in 2023 were awarded several A-stars on their reports throughout the year.

At George’s Place we now have two dogs, Peanut and Zimba, who thoroughly enjoy their walks! We also have many chickens, growing up from the chicks we rear there. The boys in the home are always involved in preparing vegetables and making chapatis and all the older boys can cook basic meals. They are all required to do some chores, such as cleaning the house and compound and washing up after meals. There is a friendly family atmosphere in the home, with plenty of time for activities and sport. The boys enjoy football at an academy, as well as swimming, basketball, table-tennis, badminton, ludo, card games, art and, of course, watching television!

In August we took 27 of our boys on a camp at Lake Mboro where they camped under canvas and enjoyed the nearby Safari Park, seeing wildlife including zebra, giraffe, elephants and monkeys. They also enjoyed a boat trip, catching sight of crocodiles, monitor lizards, and hippos.

In November we had two young boys join us. We have traced their relatives and are in the process of obtaining care orders for them, having notified the appropriate authorities. The boys have had their medical checks and will attend the local primary school in February.

Also that month we moved our offices, as there had been a fire in the old building which left us with no electricity for six weeks. We are now happily located in John Paul II Justice and Peace Building in Nsambya.

In December we had a joyous Christmas Party with several of our past boys returning for the weekend to help us celebrate.

Looking forward, our work with street boys continues, encouraged by the prospect of families being reunited with their boys, who are growing into responsible, mature and thoughtful young men.  Four more boys will attend vocational college this year and we will continue to support those who have finished their courses, helping them to resettle and find work in local areas.

We trust in The Lord as we move into 2024. We believe we are involved in doing His work. Changing Lives.